Eileen Hart, the New Jersey mother who was arrested and pressured into giving up her guns after reading the Constitution at a property tax dispute forum, launched a legal defense fund at Fundly on Thursday, hoping to raise enough to cover the costs of her defense.
Hart was arrested and called a “terroristic threat” after a run-in with Andrew Colavecchio, a representative of Appraisal Systems, Inc., the company contracted to perform appraisals in the area where she lives.
According to Hart, she, her husband and young daughter attended the property tax forum to protest a mandatory home re-evaluation that would roughly double her property value.
Hart, an Orthodox Jew, did not allow the appraiser in her home because her husband was not present. That prompted authorities to assume the value of the house.
But after she objected on Constitutional grounds, a company representative “freaked out.” New Jersey tax assessor Robyn Glocker-Hammond reportedly told Hart to “sit down and shut up,” and eventually ordered her to leave.
After calling Colavecchio a “pencil pusher” on her way out, he allegedly threatened to call 911 and, Hart said, “ran after us in the parking lot like a banshee, his face was purple, [he was] disheveled, [he] started to take down my license plate and ran off. When he got to the doors of the building he screamed at us, ‘let’s see if you can pay your taxes now!’”
Police met Hart at her home and took custody of her, handcuffing her to a chair. According to her account, authorities pressured her into giving up her guns for “safe keeping,” saying that she would be held for an indefinite amount of time and face an extremely high bail if she did not.
“I have a 7-year-old daughter, I homeschool her. I would never risk going to prison for the rest of my life and lose everything. I have no criminal history, I have no history of drug abuse, no history of alcohol abuse, I have no history of mental illness, I have never committed a crime a day in my life. And because I used my First Amendment right I was arrested for it,” she told The Blaze.
Hart has since retained an attorney to handle her case.
As of this writing, Hart has raised $155, roughly two percent of her $10,000 goal.
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